20 Years of Marine Water Quality Monitoring in Hong Kong

| Director's Message | Introduction | Background of the EPD’s river water quality monitoring programme | The scientific basis of the EPD’s river water quality monitoring programme | River water sampling procedures: testing, analysis, and publication of results | Eastern New Territories | Northwestern New Territories | Lantau Island | Southwestern New Territories & Kowloon | Summary | Appendices | Acknowledgements | Disclaimer |

Director's Message

[Photo of Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, JP, Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works (Environment) / Director of Environmental Protection]

One of the most basic tools for achieving sound environmental protection is scientific monitoring of the environment. Without knowing clearly and accurately what is happening in and to our environment, we cannot confidently take the right steps to protect it.


Our Mission

is to conduct an effective, scientific water monitoring programme that will help achieve and maintain the Water Quality Objectives and protect the health of Hong Kong’s rivers.


The EPD has inaugurated several important environmental monitoring programmes since its establishment in 1986, of which the River Water Quality Monitoring Programme is one. For two decades now we have been studying the water quality of Hong Kong’s major rivers, and noting changes from year to year. This information has proved vital for helping the Government develop strategies and initiatives to overcome some of Hong Kong’s historical water pollution problems. It has also kept the general public informed about the health of these precious natural assets.


This year, we have produced a 20th anniversary report that describes how the river water quality monitoring programme has developed over the past two decades, and what kinds of results it has achieved in that time. As you will gather from reading the report, we have seen significant improvements in Hong Kong’s river water over this period. Government moves such as the Water Pollution Control Ordinance and the Livestock Waste Control Scheme were radical initiatives that have transformed the health of our rivers. The Government’s commitment to improving Hong Kong’s sewerage infrastructure has been another major step forward for the health of our rivers.


Ultimately, though, these improvements have come about because of the co-operation of Hong Kong residents, who have recognised the uniqueness and the importance of Hong Kong’s natural environment. The efforts of many individuals to help reduce water pollution, both through education and very practical efforts, have helped create a widespread change of attitude amongst the general public.


I believe that, given what it has achieved over the past twenty years, the EPD’s river water quality monitoring programme will remain an essential tool for the future. In the years to come, it will continue to provide decision-makers, planners and the general public with the essential information they need to control pollution and safeguard the health of our rivers for future generations.


Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, JP
Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works (Environment) /
Director of Environmental Protection


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